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In the late 90s, was launched the European Urban Audit project, in order to collect statistical information comparing the quality of life of major European cities. Since then it has been developing in different phases or cycles of data collection, approximately three years each. The project is sponsored by the European Commission Directorate-General Regional and Urban Policy (DG Regio) in collaboration with Eurostat and is currently in his sixth collection round. Throughout his more than 15 years, despite numerous methodological and territorial changes, it has gained maturity, has managed to establish itself and has guaranteed its continuity in time.

The compilation of the information corresponds mainly to the national statistical institutes of the member states that are involved in the project. Currently, information is collected on more than 900 EU cities for which it contains 171 variables and 62 indicators. For the supramunicipal or sub-municipal areas, only part of these indicators are collected (more information on the Eurostat website).

The publication Urban Indicators presented here is a selection and adaptation of the contents of the Urban Audit project, now called "data collection for sub-national statistics (mainly cities)". From the list of indicators collected for the European project a limited set of 34 indicators covering different domains has been chosen, with information since 2010. Data are provided for selected Cities in the European project, Greater Cities or areas where the city expands beyond its administrative boundaries, the supramunicipal areas defined by its labor influence (Functional Urban Areas) and for sub-municipal areas, equivalent to the administrative division in districts. More information on the Eurostat Statistical Atlas website.

The most notable development of this new edition of the publication is the introduction of new territorial units and the updating of some existing ones. These changes are the result of the final analysis that has been made, in collaboration with Eurostat, of the 2011 population grid, applying the DEGURBA methodology, on the degree of urbanization.

As for the number of cities, the sample is expanded in 17 cities, from 109 to 126. Although all of them have or are part of a high-density cluster, according to methodological criteria, a particular restriction has been introduced for publication, consisting of considering only those cities with a population of more than 50,000 inhabitants. In relation to the Greater Cities, in addition to the 2 already published in Barcelona and Bilbao, 7 more are created. With reference to the FUAs, the mere fact of incorporating new cities has forced to verify if they match the necessary conditions to build areas of labor influence in their surroundings. Once this condition is verified, the list of FUAs is raised to 70, that is, 25 areas are added to the existing 45. Finally, it should be noted that the sub-municipal level is maintained for the 16 cities with more than 250,000 inhabitants of the previous editions, but introducing for each one the modification in its composition as a consequence of the update made from the "seccionado" to 1st January 2015.

Standarised Methodological Report 

Methodological reference

Concepts and definitions

Press release. 2017 Edition (20 June 2017)

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